Campaign against fruit fly to avert mangoes' export ban to EU


Published: May 06, 2014

European Union (EU), the powerful 27 nation bloc has issued a warning to Pakistan to ensure "fruit fly free" (FFF) mango exports to the Union and further informed that on arrival of mango consignments at any port of the bloc these will be thoroughly examined before their release. EU is a huge market for Pakistani mangoes which are in big demand and preferred over Indian mangoes. The country cannot afford to lose this lucrative market as it provides millions of dollars annually through import of mangoes from the Pakistan. 

To ensure problem free mango export season which starts from May 25, Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Government of Pakistan, and All Pakistan, and Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) have started campaign against fruit fly in mangoes on war footing. 

A day long seminar on "Fruit fly and pest free mango exports to the world" was organised at Hyderabad on Sunday to educate exporters and growers on this development. It was jointly organised by DPP and PFVA and was attended by about 200 growers, traders and exporters, besides government officials, and office-bearers and members of the association. 

The campaign has begun in Punjab and Sindh provinces orchards to avert likely ban on exports of Pakistani mangoes to European Union, Dr Mubarak, Director General, Department of Plant Production, Government of Pakistan said. He informed the participants that EU has issued warning to Pakistan against finding of fruit flying in its mangoes and conveyed to Pakistan that it will go through examination of its mangoes when they land in the 27-nation bloc. 

"India will try its best to get Pakistani mangoes banned in EU like the ban which was imposed earlier." Therefore, he said farmers and exporters should take extra measures to ensure that 'our' mangoes do not contain the bug. Waheed Ahmed, spokesman for PFVA, said that this was the first of the four seminars which are being held to create awareness and suggesting measures against fly fruit in the mangoes. The other three seminars of the series will be held in the next 15 days in Multan, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur. 

He said that the county is expected to produce 1.8 million tons mangoes this year of which 65 percent will be produced in Punjab and rest 35 percent in Sindh. Research and development was the only way left with growers to do away with existing problems including the fruit fly. "PFVA will assist growers in this regard, he said. 

Waheed Ahmed said that these seminars are aimed at bridging the gap between farmers and exporters and to make aware farmers of their problems and to suggest them solutions of the problems. Dr Mubarak further said that his department was registering fruit orchards in Punjab and Sindh. "The first round of registration in Punjab has been completed, while it has initiated the registration process of farms in Sindh from Saturday (May 03)." 

Registration would be followed by examination of orchards and those farms where fruit fly is not found will be exempted from hot water treatment, he said adding that the treatment will be compulsory for unregistered farms Hadi Bux Leghari, a researcher, said that fruit fly could be dealt at orchards level by taking measures including crop hygiene and sanitation, by adopting male annihilation technology and bait application technique, by use of bio-pesticides and insecticides. 

The efforts of DPP and PFVA were highly appreciated by exporters, farmers and traders for whom it was a new experience to go through this exercise and learn and measures which would go a long way in improving the quality of their produce and help them grow a healthy fruit which is the requirement in all countries of the world. The PFVA's emphasis on research and development also received a good response from the participants as this could double the produce and exports of not only mangoes but all kinds of fruits and vegetables.